Hemsworth marathon PB

PUBLISHED: 09:30 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:23 17 June 2010

Graham Hill

Graham Hill

Copyright Archant Ltd

Marathon training is very much in vogue at this time of year and each weekend sees large groups of Sidmouth runners pounding the countryside in preparation for the Four Trigs, the Grizzly, the Exe to Axe and, later on, for the lucky ones, the London Marathon.

Marathon training is very much in vogue at this time of year and each weekend sees large groups of Sidmouth runners pounding the countryside in preparation for the Four Trigs, the Grizzly, the Exe to Axe and, later on, for the lucky ones, the London Marathon. Jane Hemsworth though stole a march on them last weekend by taking part in the Gloucester Marathon. Jane has become something of a marathon specialist and her long term ambition has been to break the four hour barrier. The Gloucester course, based on Quedgeley, is a good one with enough gentle undulations to make it interesting but not enough to tire you unnecessarily. The weather, pre race preparations and pacing during the run all went according to plan and her final time of 3.55.24 was not only a massive PB but also a club record for ladies of a certain age. Common sense tells you to take a well earned rest at this point but, in less than two week's time, she joins fellow comedienne Bev Tarry, in a 50km jaunt along the River Thames. Bless 'em both! Lesser mortals had to content themselves with the club's cross country championships held on Pinn Barton Farm, courtesy of farmer Gordon Sage, in conjunction with the South West Vets Athletics Club. The setting is magnificent and the heavy overnight rain, combined with the steep climbs and descents, made for a slippery and testing course. So much so that some runners forsook the traditional running shoe and opted for football boots.Over 60 runners took part with varying distances for the different age groups and there were close finishes as some private rivalries are beginning to develop within the club. Characteristic of these was the struggle between John Podmore and Brian Gosling. This week it was John's turn to take the honours. Not far ahead of them Shaun Tipton just pipped Phil Smith in a desperate sprint to the line while Bill Valentine, who likes this sort of course, held off both Colin Flood and Don Cawthera who aren't so keen. The ladies, in contrast, were well spread out with Jane Beech leading the Sidmouth runners home in the three lap event but Naomi Garrick, running for the first time since a long term injury, served notice that she was back again and a threat to Jane's dominance in this sort of race. Debbie Marriott, last year's winner, didn't only finish with her usual smile but decided that she needed to get more miles in so, after having her time recorded, set off for another couple of laps, just for the fun of it. Who can dampen that sort of enthusiasm?Graham Hill casually lopes up the slopes while the rest of us are on our knees and he had an exceptional race to win the four lap event quite comfortably. Malcolm Bayer prefers longer races but was satisfied with fourth spot whilst David Palmer (11th) was in a bit of a no-man's land. Amongst the Juniors, Nick Smith lost to arch rival Grey Grierson, having beaten him in their last encounter a few weeks back. The stage is therefore set for another rematch over 3km at Exeter next Wednesday evening. Youngsters Jacob Garrick and Matthew Tipton picked up third and fourth spots respectively in the under-13 group. Ellie Stone, having joined the ranks of the teenagers a week earlier, was obliged to run in the under-15 race but, no problem to her, as she steamed round the course not so very far behind Stephen Moss, the well deserved boy winner in that age group. The day finished with a congenial get together in Sidmouth Sailing Club, where war stories were compared and the prize giving took place. Thanks must go to the Ladies of the sailing club who provided the soup, rolls and pasties.


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